Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Briatore pleads for patience despite cash boost

SoccerNews in English Premier League, Serie A 3 Jul 2008

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Queens Park Rangers chairman Flavio Briatore warned against talk of imminent promotion to the Premier League next season despite announcing Thursday a fresh cash boost for the increasingly wealthy London club.

Briatore, the manager of the Renault Formula One team, and Grand Prix supremo Bernie Ecclestone surprised many within English football when they bought QPR last September.

The cash injection provided by the motor racing duo was bolstered in December when Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, described as the wealthiest man in Britain by the Sunday Times rich list with a fortune estimated at 19.25 billion pounds, took a 20 percent stake in QPR.

And in March, Briatore announced a five-year, 20 million pounds (40 million dollars) sponsorship deal with Italian sporting goods manufacturers Lotto.

The latest deal is with Gulf Air, which will see the Bahrain-based airline sponsor Rangers' kit for the next three years for an undisclosed fee.

The funds coming into Loftus Road since Briatore's arrival have drawn comparisons with QPR's west London rivals Chelsea.

The Blues' Russian billionaire owner Roman Abramovich has spent more than 600 million pounds (1.2 billion dollars) since taking charge at Stamford Bridge in 2003.

However, Chelsea were already in the Premier League when Abramovich arrived and Briatore, who has installed former QPR striker Iain Dowie as the club's manager, stressed: “There is no pressure to go up this season – absolutely not – because it was always a four-year programme.

“One year has passed and that wasn't easy, and this year we are looking to consolidate the club and be more consistent so it's now a three-year programme.”

The Italian added: “Last year QPR were in a very dangerous situation. I believe that without us coming in the club might not have existed anymore, so people have very short memories and need to show a bit of patience.”

Turning to Chelsea, Briatore said: “Chelsea have done fantastically and Roman has done an amazing job. However, we are a Championship club and will take a different approach.”

There has been talk of QPR leaving their home for a bigger ground but Briatore said: “First, let us fill Loftus Road.

“If you have a small restaurant then you try and make sure all the tables are busy at night before you move on to the next restaurant.”

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